Research Profile

Dr. Anna K. Blakney is a bioengineer with training in drug delivery systems for the treatment and/or prevention of infectious diseases. Her background includes training in chemical and biological engineering, polymeric biomaterials, drug delivery, host response, immunology, vaccinology, molecular biology and formulation science. She is motivated to pursue translational designs that will impact populations in low-resource settings. Since December of 2016, she has been a Whitaker Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Dr. Robin Shattock‘s laboratory at Imperial College London. Her research focuses on optimization of molecular RNA design and formulation for optimized immune response in vivo. Starting in January 2019, she will be a Marie Curie Research Fellow, joint between the Shattock and Stevens laboratories in order to develop and characterize next-generation RNA delivery systems.

Research Training

Prior to joining Dr. Shattock’s group, Anna completed her PhD with Dr. Kim Woodrow in 2016 at the University of Washington in the Department of Bioengineering. Her research in the Woodrow lab focused on the development of an electrospun nanofiber platform for topical delivery of drug combinations, specifically antiretrovirals and contraceptives. Her graduate work was funded by NSF GRFP and an NIH Molecular Medicine Training Grant. Anna also received an NSF/USAID GROW Fellowship to spend 6 months studying how the BCG vaccine affects infant susceptibility to HIV in the laboratory of Dr. Heather Jaspan at the University of Cape Town. Anna received her B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from University of Colorado at Boulder, in 2012. As an undergraduate in Dr. Stephanie Bryant‘s laboratory, she characterized the role of PEG-based hydrogel stiffness in the foreign body response and the anti-inflammatory properties of differentiating stem cells. She also completed an REU with Dr. William Wagner at the University of Pittsburgh that focused on using a biodegradable hydrogel for intramyocardial protein delivery.